A Story Lately Told: Coming of Age in Ireland, London, and New York Info

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Reviews for A Story Lately Told: Coming of Age in Ireland, London, and New York:

1

Nov 03, 2013

(This is an ARC that I won in a Goodreads giveaway.)

I'm mad at Anjelica Huston. I was a sideline fan of hers all these years. With this book she killed that. I was a fan of her father's and she killed that, too.

Long before Anjelica, I was a John Huston fan. As a kid, for me he was the voice of Gandalf, having played the role in the Rankin Bass adaptations of Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Return of the King. I love that man's voice and his imposing figure inspired awe when I saw him in (This is an ARC that I won in a Goodreads giveaway.)

I'm mad at Anjelica Huston. I was a sideline fan of hers all these years. With this book she killed that. I was a fan of her father's and she killed that, too.

Long before Anjelica, I was a John Huston fan. As a kid, for me he was the voice of Gandalf, having played the role in the Rankin Bass adaptations of Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Return of the King. I love that man's voice and his imposing figure inspired awe when I saw him in "Chinatown." But then his daughter took that away from me with her autobiography. Bah, I should've known better. Bios tend to kill idols.

To an extent, I knew the Huston's were Hollywood royalty, but I didn't realize that in her youth (this book covers from her birth to early adulthood) Anjelica was the Paris Hilton of her day: a vapid, directionless princess. A Story Lately Told is all about country estates, servants and nurse maids, "Mummy!" and "Daddy!" (and later "Daddy doesn't love me!"), horseback riding, fox hunts, party frocks and taking tea with the O'Tooles and/or getting sloshy with countless other celebrities.

Once Huston hit her teens, schooling essentially ended for her. Considering that she skipped class day after day, it's no wonder the writing herein is so bad, with its disjointed paragraphs where each sentence is its own disparate idea. Her dubious understanding of natural science has the reader scratching their head. (A quote or two here would be great, but apparently I'm not allowed to quote from this, it being an ARC, I guess.) To say the least, it needs editing, even more than it's already had, as noted by Huston in the acknowledgments.

It's not that this book is the worst thing ever written. It's not. Huston can string a few beautiful phrases together. In fact I liken this read to walking through an art gallery, one in which an occasional pictures catches the eye, but there ends the collection's worth. It is filled with a tarnished Rockwell or two and an overwhelming number of Thomas Kinkades. Pretty, a dab of color and completely void of a deeper meaning.

And apparently there's more to come! Another book is due out soon, which will delve into her acting career. I wish I'd held off and read that one, and never seen this. I hope for Huston's sake, the next book has more substance, that she found there is more to life than modeling and standing in front of cameras. Because there are just too many meaningless, ineffectual stories in A Story… that should have been edited out. Build up the anecdotes of the good ones, I say. If it's not too late, shorten this book up to half its size and combine it with the one on her movie career. We all like a good story, but if you're going to demand everyone's attention, make sure its a good story. ...more
3

Dec 14, 2013


Anjelica Huston was an American fashion model before she became an actor and director.







Huston won a best actress Oscar for 'Prizzi's Honor' and received Academy Award nominations for 'Enemies, A Love Story' and 'The Grifters.'







In this first book of her autobiography Huston tells tales starting with her childhood in Ireland and England.....up to her young womanhood in New York City. Born in 1951, Huston had colorful parents, the former beautiful ballerina Enrica Soma and the larger than life
Anjelica Huston was an American fashion model before she became an actor and director.







Huston won a best actress Oscar for 'Prizzi's Honor' and received Academy Award nominations for 'Enemies, A Love Story' and 'The Grifters.'







In this first book of her autobiography Huston tells tales starting with her childhood in Ireland and England.....up to her young womanhood in New York City. Born in 1951, Huston had colorful parents, the former beautiful ballerina Enrica Soma and the larger than life director John Huston - and met large numbers of the rich and famous.


Enrica Soma, Anjelica Huston's mother


John Huston, Anjelica Huston's father


Little Anjelica Anjelica Huston with her father John Huston

In fact Huston mentions so many people - friends, acquaintances, neighbors, nannies, teachers, crushes, models, photographers, actors, actresses, directors, etc. - that they become blended together in a confusing swirl of names.



The book also seems more like a detailed list of activities - fox hunting, partying, skiving off school, moving, modeling - than a comprehensive life story. We do get a feel for the love Huston's mom bestowed on her children and for the fun and hardships that come with having John Huston - a hard-drinking womanizer and gambler who was often away directing films - for a dad.


Young Anjelica Huston

The story gets more interesting when Anjelica becomes a fashion model in her late teens and hooks up with the mentally ill photographer Bob Richardson for a four year romance.


Bob Richardson, one of Anjelica Huston's boyfriends

I'm hoping the second volume of the biography, when Huston becomes a famous actress and has a long-term romance with Jack Nicholson, is more of a comprehensive biography.


Anjelica Huston with her boyfriend Jack Nicholson

You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot.... ...more
2

Dec 02, 2013

I have adored Anjelica Hustons acting since I saw her play the Grand High Witch in the film The Witches. I found her presence to be mesmerizing and I still feel the same way about her. Also, for some reason I have always imagined her to be very cerebral. She just gives off this worldly, learned vibe.

I was both excited and apprehensive when I found out she wrote a memoir. Im not very good at separating art and artist. Because of how I feel about Anjelica I was worried that her memoir would I have adored Anjelica Huston’s acting since I saw her play the Grand High Witch in the film The Witches. I found her presence to be mesmerizing and I still feel the same way about her. Also, for some reason I have always imagined her to be very cerebral. She just gives off this worldly, learned vibe.

I was both excited and apprehensive when I found out she wrote a memoir. I’m not very good at separating art and artist. Because of how I feel about Anjelica I was worried that her memoir would change my perceptions of her.

The memoir is a mess. It is poorly organized, some might say vaguely chronologically. It jumps from anecdote to anecdote without any link or transition. She just tells you one story after another. Often these stories were just descriptions of all the furniture, art, and other stuff that could be found in a room or which celebrities/important people were at a party and what they were wearing. It was really disappointing when she’d get to a deep, formative moment and immediately end it and move on.

Reading this was a very scatterbrained experience, as if she was just having tea with an old friend and reminiscing. When you reminisce with a friend, you don’t always need to go into detail, explore themes, or get into how these events affected you because the friend generally knows these things. The stories individually were interesting (who doesn’t want to know the kind of things Hollywood Royalty grows up with!?) but without any substantial formative context they felt very flat and disjointed. Unfortunately, what was probably an extremely interesting and unique coming of age experience comes across as superficial and directionless. Basically, Anjelica Huston is a Tenenbaum.

I think the worst part of it all is that this memoir only covers Anjelica’s life into her early twenties. She is working on part two I guess. This memoir is a casualty of Yes People and poor editing. Someone needed to tell Anjelica no (cut this, talk more about this, keep focused…) and encourage her to finish it as a whole, single entity. I have trouble believing the publishers just couldn’t wait for her to publish this half memoir.

That being said, I will definitely read the second half because I want to hear more anecdotes about her life in Hollywood (when stuff gets really interesting). What I learned from this memoir is probably more than Anjelica intended but less than I’d wanted, but that seems the case with most memoirs anyway. ...more
5

Aug 27, 2013

First, I must say that I mean no disrespect to the few who have won or obtained an ARC and written reviews that are of a different opinion- we all have one, and here is mine.
This memoir is beautifully written, eloquently descriptive, and provides a closer look in to the remarkable life Ms. Huston has lived.
I disagree with previous reviews stating that it could have been made in to one memoir instead of two, especially if one is not familiar with Ms. Huston's life and clearly can not fathom the First, I must say that I mean no disrespect to the few who have won or obtained an ARC and written reviews that are of a different opinion- we all have one, and here is mine.
This memoir is beautifully written, eloquently descriptive, and provides a closer look in to the remarkable life Ms. Huston has lived.
I disagree with previous reviews stating that it could have been made in to one memoir instead of two, especially if one is not familiar with Ms. Huston's life and clearly can not fathom the incredible life she has lived, which in no way can be summed up in 100 pages, or one volume. This book is merely the first three big chapters in the many lives she has lived. Had it been written as one memoir instead of two, it would still be the same length as other great memoirs, and I believe she has not yet finished the later.
Her story and life are are incredible. Her memoir is intriguing and tragic, funny and filled with intelligence and wit. And to those who will complain about the name dropping, remember- these are people she grew up around. This was the norm for her, and many of the famous friends she made at the time were not yet famous. How could one not include the people in their life while telling their story? That is not "name dropping."
I look forward to Vol 2 where she will delve
into the later chapters of her life- LA in the 70's with Jack(with whom she was NOT married), her budding career in the 80's and 90's, and her first husband, Robert Graham, whom died in 2008. That is sufficient enough for a second volume, and the year long wait.
I highly recommend this memoir. And yes, I am an adorned fan, and probably a tad biased... Although, I seem to be in agreement with the major journalists.. check out their reviews.
...more
2

Dec 24, 2013

One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
Seven for a secret never to be told.

Angelica Huston's memoir is named after the above nursery rhyme, although I must admit that I grew up with the above version, with the line about a secret that's never been told. I searched the internet for a bit, and found variations that say, "for a tale never to be told" but not for "a story lately told." I bring this up not because I particularly care that Ms. Huston One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
Seven for a secret never to be told.

Angelica Huston's memoir is named after the above nursery rhyme, although I must admit that I grew up with the above version, with the line about a secret that's never been told. I searched the internet for a bit, and found variations that say, "for a tale never to be told" but not for "a story lately told." I bring this up not because I particularly care that Ms. Huston was raised with an alternative version, but because "A Story Never Told" would be a much more accurate title.

This is not so much a story, but rather a list of things owned and people known, both described in detail, but not with any amount of passion. These lists are interspersed with anecdotes of the sorts of things you would remember from childhood--big injuries, mortifying embarrassments, and the few rare occasions when she was funny or bright enough to actually capture the attention of her distant parents. I don't think I expected to come away from this feeling sorry for her, and yet I did.

I picked this book up because I heard a very engaging interview with the author on Fresh Air. I understand that it is Terry Gross' job to make fascinating interviews, but as it stands, this one pretty well misrepresented the actual tone of the book. I listened to Ms. Huston's reading of the book, and she couldn't seem more disinterested in her subject matter. The reading is emotionless and disconnected, and I don't feel that I really learned anything significant about her take on life by reading it.

This was a disappointment. ...more
2

Nov 23, 2013

Lots of names and events. Nothing of how she felt during any of it.
4

Dec 14, 2013

I loved it, can 't wait for the next one. Ignore the bad ratings from the people who won the book from good reads. Clearly most of them had no interest in reading the book in the first place!!
1

Dec 17, 2013

This memoir is dreadfully boring. I suppose if a reader wanted to read a catalog of furniture, artwork and estates and then a list of artists/actors who frequented your home, they may find this interesting, but I was not impressed. How did this get published?
4

Nov 28, 2013

I didn't think I would enjoy this memoir as much as I did. I thought I had nothing in common with a movie star that lead a charmed life in Ireland, London, and New York. My parents weren't famous, but being the same age as the author I knew I had lived this same life only on a different scale.
I highlighted what made me realize girls growing up in the 50's 60's & 70's had so much in common.
Here's what I loved most about this book

Catholic. Holy Communion.Phenobarbital.Veils.Dad lifted me up to I didn't think I would enjoy this memoir as much as I did. I thought I had nothing in common with a movie star that lead a charmed life in Ireland, London, and New York. My parents weren't famous, but being the same age as the author I knew I had lived this same life only on a different scale.
I highlighted what made me realize girls growing up in the 50's 60's & 70's had so much in common.
Here's what I loved most about this book

Catholic. Holy Communion.Phenobarbital.Veils.Dad lifted me up to his shoulders.Blue Grass.Ankle socks.Penny loafers.Long silver needle.Tortoise shell combs.Catechism.Lily of the Valley.Collect mushrooms.We fell in love with the Beatles.Confirmed alcoholic.Roll our skirts up at the waist. Cracked Max Factor compact.Mary Quant lip gloss.Coca-Cola.Dad criticized the way I dressed.The Rolling Stones,esp Mick & Keith.Pattie Boyd.Jane Fonda.Cila Black.Marianne Faithful.Sandalwood.Patchouli.Anita Pallenberg.Jane Asher.Fresh baked apples.False eyelashes and a Fall.Joint was passed.Hypnotic tuberose.Going to go & live somewhere else.Drug addicts.Crazies.Artists.Poets.Transvestites.Out of body experience.'Lay Lady Lay.'Astronauts landed on the moon.Lancer's Rose.Woodstock.Ritchie Havens.A thousand cockroaches.Hashish.Groovy.John Lennon cap.Falling asleep to the motion of the train.Amphetamine.Ali McGraw.Bottle of Tequila.I got a suntan. And best of all Lying in my father's arms.

I hope you enjoy these memories as much as I have. ...more
3

Jun 16, 2014

I would give this book a higher rating but I don't want to give the wrong impression. I was warned that this book was meandering and hard to follow which is true in some spots. Here and there it sounds like a list of random events and in others it sounds like "these are all the important people I know." At one point I thought of sending the book on to a new owner. However, when I got to the chapter that she shared about her mother, my heart melted and I saw a new person than the one I thought I would give this book a higher rating but I don't want to give the wrong impression. I was warned that this book was meandering and hard to follow which is true in some spots. Here and there it sounds like a list of random events and in others it sounds like "these are all the important people I know." At one point I thought of sending the book on to a new owner. However, when I got to the chapter that she shared about her mother, my heart melted and I saw a new person than the one I thought she was. From this point, I took notice and adjusted my attitude. In her acknowledgements, she asks us, the reader, to not judge her too harshly for the mistakes in her book. I will judge no more and I look forward to reading her second book which comes out in Fall 2014. ...more
2

Dec 11, 2013

I really wanted to like this book because I've always liked Anjelica Huston. It's not a bad book, but I grew weary of the endless name dropping and cataloging of the family's many fabulous possessions. Those things are a legitimate part of her life, but they were featured too prominantly and too often for my tastes.
0

Dec 14, 2013

so apparently we're all in agreement that we LOVE anjelica huston AND this memoir is not very good. BUT the parts about her relationship with terry richardson's father are harrowing and well recalled. it's part one of two, which is crucial to know otherwise you'll be wondering why you're 5/6 of the way done and she's still explaining the kind of hairbrush she used on her favorite doll when she was seven and playing with a vague friend-person-child (including type of wood and bristle in said so apparently we're all in agreement that we LOVE anjelica huston AND this memoir is not very good. BUT the parts about her relationship with terry richardson's father are harrowing and well recalled. it's part one of two, which is crucial to know otherwise you'll be wondering why you're 5/6 of the way done and she's still explaining the kind of hairbrush she used on her favorite doll when she was seven and playing with a vague friend-person-child (including type of wood and bristle in said brush, name of doll and fabric with which its clothes are made, and the name and title of the father of the friend who is sitting in the room watching anjelica brush the hair of the doll). still love her. ...more
4

Dec 04, 2013

Angelica Huston manages to be elegant beyond belief without being in the least way pretentious. Her mother dies when she is only 17 and the sixtysomething has so much emotion in her voice when she describes what happened, you think the events took place only yesterday. A beautiful book.
3

Sep 13, 2013

This book is difficult to rate, as I would give the first half two stars and the last half four. I won this book in a first-reads giveaway, and I was thrilled because I have always been a fan of Anjelica Huston. But the beginning of the book feels amateurish, the long, list-like report of an over-privileged child with too many gifts and an abundance of famous people. I was feeling disappointed, but I trudged along, not wanting to give an unfair review. I'm glad I did. As the narrated Anjelica This book is difficult to rate, as I would give the first half two stars and the last half four. I won this book in a first-reads giveaway, and I was thrilled because I have always been a fan of Anjelica Huston. But the beginning of the book feels amateurish, the long, list-like report of an over-privileged child with too many gifts and an abundance of famous people. I was feeling disappointed, but I trudged along, not wanting to give an unfair review. I'm glad I did. As the narrated Anjelica comes of age, the writing, too, matures. It becomes deeper, and she becomes more sympathetic. She is clearly intelligent, and while this was not the most exciting read ever, it satisfied some of my curiosity about this enigmatic character I knew only through her films. ...more
4

Dec 15, 2013

In her smoky, provocative voice, Houston recounts moments in her life that impacted her in different ways; from whimsical childhood tales to tales of loss in her early adulthood. Simple yet moving, this memoir could only be heard in her own voice. I really enjoyed it.
2

Dec 06, 2014

Well, was a bit disappointed with this one, too much name dropping, an erratic style of writing and did not merit my attention for I was personally uninterested in her and her stories. Though the best part for me was her relationship with her father, and some anecdotes did remind me of growing up with mine. Don't know if am interested in the follow up.
4

Nov 04, 2014

This was a fast read for me and it turns out that this book is part of a two part autobiography from her. I am anxious to hear about her years with Jack Nicholson in book two and will definitely be reading it in the coming year.

Anjelica Huston is an actress I have always admired but has appeared as an "older" actress to me, given that she is presently 66, this would explain things, for she was 30 when I was born. This autobiography is about her life growing up in Ireland and London. She threw This was a fast read for me and it turns out that this book is part of a two part autobiography from her. I am anxious to hear about her years with Jack Nicholson in book two and will definitely be reading it in the coming year.

Anjelica Huston is an actress I have always admired but has appeared as an "older" actress to me, given that she is presently 66, this would explain things, for she was 30 when I was born. This autobiography is about her life growing up in Ireland and London. She threw around famous names, so many that I only looked up on the ones that truly interested me.

She definitely had a privileged upbringing. However, in the beginning of the novel, she eludes to the fact that her parents were neglectful and she does not have a close relationship with her brother, given they were only a year or so apart this was rather startling to hear . As the story progresses, you learn that her greatest wish is for her parents to be together, something she never saw because at a young age, her parents started leading separate and unconventional lives. He father was more than 20 years older than her mother, and given that she was his 4th wife and he a womanizer, I think he collected women like trophies all to toss them away once he was bored with them. He reminded me a lot of Ernest Hemingway. He was very cold and a perfectionist, having expectations for his children that they could never achieve. He was away for long periods of time also since he was a director, but her mother was also away for a lot of her childhood vacationing with other lovers/friends of hers as well. Her and her brother were raised by the help. All the money she was raised with did not make up for the fact that she was neglected and ignored throughout most of her childhood. The pain of this is heard throughout her story.

She seems to have some breakthrough with her mother all for her mother to tragically die shortly thereafter at 39 years of age. It is unknown whether they would have had the relationship she craved or not.

Anjelica also had her first long-term relationship with a man who turned out to be bi-polar and schziophrenic. He was both verbally and physically abusive to her along with being unbearably controlling. As someone who experienced some of this in my first two relationships, I felt for her journey, for she met Bob Richardson when she was only 18 and he in his 40's. One can wonder if she was looking for a father figure in him. Bob is the father of Terry Richardson, a photographer like his father who has recently been in the headlines for actors no longer wanting to work with him because of his sexual misconduct.

Overall, as a lover of good strong autobiographies, I enjoyed this one immensely. Sometimes the name dropping became a touch much, maybe because it was not my era and I was like yeah yeah whoever that is...but overall, I felt she delved deep and exposed herself, which is always what I am looking for in a quality autobiography. A highly recommended story! ...more
4

Sep 04, 2013

Disclaimer first. I received my copy free as a First Reads giveaway.

I was really glad to have won this book. I have been a fan of the actress for reasons I can't quite explain. I think I was struck by how beautiful she was initially, but also, I love the movies I saw her in. I really knew nothing about her though.

This book is set in 3 distinct parts (and locations as you an tell by the title). What gets tricky about reviewing this, is that the narrative starts out a bit disjointed, not terribly Disclaimer first. I received my copy free as a First Reads giveaway.

I was really glad to have won this book. I have been a fan of the actress for reasons I can't quite explain. I think I was struck by how beautiful she was initially, but also, I love the movies I saw her in. I really knew nothing about her though.

This book is set in 3 distinct parts (and locations as you an tell by the title). What gets tricky about reviewing this, is that the narrative starts out a bit disjointed, not terribly descriptive, though I could still visualize the scenes well enough. The next part gets a bit stronger both in continuity and descriptions. The third part is the strongest though and as I pondered this, it started to make sense.

You and a friend start talking about memories of growing up and what you remember and how you are able to put it in context would be very different when talking about when you were 6 years old compared to 19 years old. The same would be true with this book. Taken in that sort of context, this was a very good book. The part that bothers me the most, now that I've given myself a few days since finishing it, are that I really want to hear her tell me about what came next in her life. ...more
1

Mar 07, 2014

I admire Anjelica Huston's film work and in interviews I have always found her to be a person of substance and perception. How disappointed I am by this memoir, which for me never really rises beyond the level of interest one feels looking at a glossy high-end magazine devoted to the home decor and fashions of the privileged. It's a curiously bloodless experience, rather like walking through the intact ancestral home of people who have long departed or who allow the punters in to help pay for I admire Anjelica Huston's film work and in interviews I have always found her to be a person of substance and perception. How disappointed I am by this memoir, which for me never really rises beyond the level of interest one feels looking at a glossy high-end magazine devoted to the home decor and fashions of the privileged. It's a curiously bloodless experience, rather like walking through the intact ancestral home of people who have long departed or who allow the punters in to help pay for the upkeep of their pile of bricks but would never deign to come in contact with their "guests". You're invited to ooh and ahhh over furniture and trinkets, but learn very little about the owners' day-to-day experience and emotions. I think that if I had to read one more of Huston's inventories of bibelots and jewelry, I'd lose the will to live. It's autobiography as it would be practiced by Town & Country magazine sponsored by Sotheby's and all the jewelers on and around Place Vendôme.

If I wish to continue admiring Huston I should limit my future contact to watching her work on the screen. ...more
3

Oct 02, 2013

Lots of famous names...lots of "things" and houses and parties and shows...not a ton of substance...perhaps it's because this book only covers her early years up until she moved to LA in the early 70's.

Perhaps the second volume will be more interesting and have some depth (and presumably some perspective about what has presumably been an interesting life of experiences). This first volume was a quick read, and while fascinating to read the list of actors and artists and musicians Ms. Huston Lots of famous names...lots of "things" and houses and parties and shows...not a ton of substance...perhaps it's because this book only covers her early years up until she moved to LA in the early 70's.

Perhaps the second volume will be more interesting and have some depth (and presumably some perspective about what has presumably been an interesting life of experiences). This first volume was a quick read, and while fascinating to read the list of actors and artists and musicians Ms. Huston encountered all before the age of 20, at times it was more like someone making a list rather than telling a story.

Full disclosure - I received an advance copy of this book from Goodreads. ...more
4

Oct 12, 2013

While this book (an advance copy I won through Goodreads) was a quick read, it wasn't a light read -- Anjelica Huston packs a lot of punch into this book. The story starts off really just confirming how central John Huston was to film-making mid-century, and how the luminaries orbiting John Huston (and her mother) simply became fixtures in AH's life, as well. (Ex:, her early modeling shots were taken by Richard Avedon.)
5

Nov 16, 2014

This book was FANTASTIC. I read it in less than two hours--I couldn't set it down and I couldn't get enough of it. I loved reading Anjelica Huston's stories about growing up in Ireland, London, and New York, loved reading her anecdotes about those she knew, famous or not, and cannot wait to re-read it!!!
4

Dec 22, 2013

The writing is elegant, and while the deluge of dropped names inspires both envy and tedium, the passages about her father are fascinating and lovingly rendered.
3

Dec 15, 2014

3-1/2 Stars (anyone know how to do half a star?) I like her, I really like her. I didn't know much about Angelica Huston before reading her autobiography other than the broad strokes of her being a really good actress with a really famous father. I heard the author interviewed on NPR and from her reading of her memoir and discussion of her life filled with insights, I decided to give her memoirs a read (this is the first of three). The authors writing style is no-nonsense and direct. No flowery 3-1/2 Stars (anyone know how to do half a star?) I like her, I really like her. I didn't know much about Angelica Huston before reading her autobiography other than the broad strokes of her being a really good actress with a really famous father. I heard the author interviewed on NPR and from her reading of her memoir and discussion of her life filled with insights, I decided to give her memoirs a read (this is the first of three). The authors writing style is no-nonsense and direct. No flowery descriptions or ponderous musings, though within her simple descriptions I found depth and beauty. She made it easy and was very welcoming as she invited me into her life. I also appreciated that much of it was remembered in real time, meaning from her view as a child and young woman with only a garnish of adult reflection.

I smiled when in the acknowledgements the author thanked her writing instrument (Paper Mate Sharpwriter #2). And I loved that she wrote her story by hand. I think all writing is served well by doing a first draft by hand. Especially a biography. It's more intimate ~ more truthful.

I like that in hindsight she is aware of how precious it all was. And how interesting. She is not jaded about it. She appreciates it all fully. And I found that charming. There are a lot of names dropped in her story but they never seem forced. She mentions people I've never heard of with as much energy as the ones we've all heard of. These icons were in her circle because of her father. And many of them were not yet iconic. I was most envious of her time in London seeing The Stones, Hendrix and Pink Floyd in small clubs. And of course all of the many many great plays and films.

The first chapter alone about her birth and the shoulders she stands upon leave you saying "wow" quite a few times. Paternal and maternal ancestors are equally impressive. They all are flesh and blood the way that Angelica tells them. Even though this chapter is short, I got an authentic sense of how the author feels about them. She doesn't hide the beautiful disasters that each one is ~ her ancestors are accomplished and quirky (as most accomplished people are). I was thinking about this the other day, how much more adventurous my ancestors were than I am. Externally any way.

Having maternal ancestors from Ireland, I quite enjoyed her sharing her childhood there. And her mention of the album "Peter and the Wolf" brought back memories as I also used to listen to this album as a child. I remember being sure that the musical instruments were in the woods talking to each other as they hid behind and within the trees.

It's very sweet the little moments she remembers and shares. She paints vivid little pictures for us akin to how we all remember the little things from childhood. It was charming how when she and her brother breakfasted with their father in his bedroom they were expected to have a new anecdote. He was trying to get them to pay attention to life. Such a valuable lesson to teach a child. I think this is a good thing for everyone to learn: pay attention. It's what all writers and artists do. It's also what every human being should do. It makes for such a more richer, vivid, and rewarding life.

I found myself wishing she hadn't overheard her parents assessing her beauty. No matter how this judgment falls, it's a burden. For any child to not think they are beautiful and amazing is a travesty (oddly, it's equally as daunting to be judged very beautiful). I think ideas of beauty have always been on the shallow side and rarely take into account inner beauty. Not because it can't be seen. It can. Mostly because so few care to look. Maybe "beauty" isn't the problem, rather it's the maniacal need to asses each other's looks that is the problem. We should stop doing that to each other and just declare the truth and that is that every single one of us is beautiful. Think of all the wonders we could focus on instead if that sucker was removed from the agenda.

When she spoke of her mothers death it moved me deeply. It reminded me of when my godmother died. Particularly, that beautiful moment that Anjelica had with her mother shortly before she died ~ saying things that should never be left unsaid. They both died too young in a horrible car crash. They both were starting a new chapter in their lives. On the day my godmother died, she had spent it with my mother at the beach, watching the sunset, saying all of these beautiful things. It's like somewhere inside she knew it was goodbye. Many things about her death haunt me: seeing her 8-year old son learn that his mom wasn't coming back and knowing that my godmother had finally decided to say yes to herself for the first time in her life instead of to everyone else. There is such beauty that she decided to change her life and had taken the first steps in that direction, but it's hard seeing someone so happy and hopeful and young being plucked from life when they had so much passion yet to live. There's more to the story and someday I'll write it down and send it out into the world because it's beautiful ~ and it's also the best kind of story because it's universal and wholly unique at the same time.

To hear Anjelica speak of her first major love relationship was harrowing. As hard as it must have been for her, it was perhaps a helpful learning experience early on. You could see that she was perhaps looking for approval from her father through this relationship (him being an older man) and in some ways her fathers demand that she accept what he said and did no matter what was also played out in her love relationship. It's so odd how we are drawn to these things from childhood in others. But as I've grown older, I see that all the hurt hurled at us from others is a gift meant to bring attention to what we need to pay attention to, a wound we need to heal. And the longer it takes, the more people that will appear to help us see it. I used to call them a***holes. No. F***ing a***holes. Now I call them gifts.

I loved her fathers advice that you can always put your hands in your pockets and walk away. Good advice. Really good advice.

This is a good example of a great way for anyone to tell their story. I believe firmly that everyone is worthy of biography. It doesn't matter if it's ever published or read world-wide, it matters that future generations have it because you wrote it. There are so many things lost if it's not a story lately told. ...more
4

Oct 25, 2017

I bought this book online last week but was too impatient and decided to listen to the audiobook which Ive now finished (the book still hasnt arrived).

I loved listening to Anjelica read, her voice is calm and pleasant and I found her descriptions beautifully detailed. There was a fair amount of name dropping but it prompted me to look up musicians, models, photographers etc that I would have otherwise never known about. (Ive had The Heptones blasting around the apartment for the last few days.) I bought this book online last week but was too impatient and decided to listen to the audiobook which I’ve now finished (the book still hasn’t arrived).

I loved listening to Anjelica read, her voice is calm and pleasant and I found her descriptions beautifully detailed. There was a fair amount of name dropping but it prompted me to look up musicians, models, photographers etc that I would have otherwise never known about. (I’ve had The Heptones blasting around the apartment for the last few days.) I’ve seen in other reviews that people found some portions superfluous but I liked the way she sets the scene before starting into the story. I didn’t mind knowing what everyone was wearing and was impressed by her ability to recollect that level of detail. She also has a real talent for recreating the emotion in a story - heightened by the fact I was listening to her read the story herself.

I’m going to start listening to Watch Me tomorrow even though I ordered a hard copy of that too! ...more

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